Police in Manitoba now say several items “directly linked” to the two men wanted in connection to a trio of murders in northern British Columbia were found on the same day officers discovered a damaged boat in the area.

Manitoba RCMP would not disclose what these items are, but said they were found on Aug. 2 on the shoreline of the Nelson River, just nine kilometres from where a burnt-out SUV connected to Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky was found two weeks earlier.

RCMP also found a damaged boat nearby on the same day, which prompted an underwater search of a 29-metre area near the boat over the weekend. The search did not yield any items connected to the suspects.

The RCMP had not previously disclosed why they were sending a dive team to scour an area surrounding the damaged boat, leading to speculation that they believed the two suspects could’ve drowned there.

Now, former Ontario Provincial Police commissioner and CTV News’ safety and security analyst Chris Lewis thinks officers were hoping to find additional items connected to the men. 

“I don’t think they were looking for bodies, I think they were looking for evidence, but we really don’t know,” he told CTV News. “They’re not obligated to tell us, but that would be my guess.”

Officers will remain in the Gillam, Man. area, however a roadblock along the provincial road into town has been taken down.

Lewis said he expects police to back through aerial and satellite images of the area to determine when the boat actually arrived there to get a better timeline of the events.

Schmegelsky and McLeod are wanted on a second-degree murder charge for the death of a 64-year-old Vancouver man and are suspects in the shooting deaths of a young tourist couple in northern B.C. three weeks ago.

Lewis thinks the two suspects are either dead, still hiding in the northern Manitoba wilderness or managed to escape the area before police blocked it off. 

“If they have made their escape, they will turn up,” he said. “They’re just kids, they don’t have the wherewithal like El Chapo or somebody to hide forever. They’re going to show their faces.”

On Aug 2, several items directly linked to the suspects were found on shoreline, 9km along the Nelson River. RCMP Underwater Recovery Team did not find additional items. Roadblock on PR 290 has been removed, but officers remain in the Gillam area. #rcmpmb https://t.co/eHFxdLg6UM

— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) August 6, 2019

This is the damaged aluminum boat found by #rcmpmb officers on the shores of the Nelson River during a helicopter search on friday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/56Ez8alVTs

— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) August 4, 2019